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Evening of Eggcellence Rallies Dyani and her Community

Dyani wished to be a chef Alisha Bacon Photography

“ Cooking for friends and family is a perfect wish for Dyani. ”

Losing her appetite was one of the worst parts of Dyani’s treatment. Before her illness, she loved cooking shows. She never missed her favorite celebrity chefs’ tv shows, and she’d always try re-creating their recipes at home.

Still, Dyani found a way around the loss of her appetite – since she couldn’t stomach an entire meal, she cut her food up into tiny pieces. Sometimes, she’d even cut them into fun shapes. Her imaginative problem solving became the inspiration for her Make-A-Wish experience.

Local Top Chef Answers the Call

In 2015, Holly was crowned Knoxville’s Top Chef by the local newspaper. Today, she can also call herself a wish granter. When Dyani’s volunteer wish granters contacted her to be part of a wish, she agreed immediately. Her role would be to guide Dyani, who wished to be a chef so she could cook a selection of bite-sized treats for her family and friends.

Holly welcomed Dyani for one-on-one training in the finer points of being a chef. She had a custom “Chef-In-Training” apron waiting for Dyani. Together, they swapped recipes and brainstormed ideas for the big event. Dyani got to try out all the cool gadgets in Holly’s kitchen as they made plans for the big night.  They decorated cookies and filled eggs, shared laughs and offered advice.  Then Holly gave Dyani a shopping list and sent her off to the market to gather the ingredients for the dinner.

Dyani used all her knowledge and expertise to pick out ingredients – she was determined to make her mentor proud, so she made sure every item would meet the highest standards.

A Taste of Life After Leukemia

Dyani’s event, “An Evening of Eggcellence,” was held at Holly’s Gourmet Market and Café. The mayor had already proclaimed it Chef Dyani Day. Guests posed for photos and anticipated the creative, snack-sized treats that were to come. Tying in Dyani’s love of cooking with her favorite holiday, a quick egg hunt was an option for guests. They searched for their favorite Dyani recipe inside giant pastel eggs.

The crowd grew silent as a limo arrived out front.  As Dyani stepped out of the limo, she was overcome with excitement to see all her favorite people applauding her entrance.  She stole the show instantly and couldn’t wait to see her friend, Holly.  The night was filled with great food and fun, and Dyani was officially crowned an honorary chef.

Most of all, Dyani saw what her future could hold … she could be a chef. Her appetite would return. And she could count on caring people to stand by her through any challenge.        

Wishes like Dyani’s come true through volunteers who contribute their own special skills. You probably have a talent that can grant wishes – find out how you could change a kid’s life!

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WHO CAN REFER A CHILD?

Make-A-Wish accepts referrals from:

  • Children being treated for a life-threatening medical condition
  • Parents or legal guardians
  • Medical professionals (typically a doctor, nurse, social worker or child-life specialist)
  • Family members with detailed knowledge of the child's medical condition

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